My first visit to Barcelona was in 2004. Exactly a year after we had lost our Dad, which was exactly two years after we had lost our Mom. Me and my brother decided to get away from the grieving and awfulness for a bit. We just wanted to go anywhere, it didn’t matter where. Barcelona was mega cheap and I was just starting to pick up my camera again after two and half years of not touching one with about five years before that of barely having opportunity because my children were so …well….childreny.
Graffiti spotting wasn’t a major priority to me at this time. I still took the odd shot of tagged up walls, because I always have, but not much of anything was a priority to me at that time. My whole family were still shell shocked by all the events of the previous two years. I had had a lot of additional stuff happen during this time of massive loss, including a divorce and trying to keep my home. Or the roof over the kids heads. I basically was just grateful to get away from Birmingham, and real life.
I did find a few walls I liked the look off and this is one of them. Taken somewhere around about the Sagrada Familia area of the City.
I fell in love with the City. Luckily my brother went off cycling and after several failed attempts at trying to make me go cycling as well I spent a fair bit of time just wandering around on my own exploring the art galleries and the architecture. Barcelona is a great place to just forget about the world and it did for me back then.
The work of Salvador Dali has always been in my top list of artists I love. Its not just the total mind mess that he produced it was also all the craziness that surrounded him. He was to me the first and foremost artist whose work I liked who basically gave not a single care (I would use a different word to ‘care’ in real life) literally no ‘cares’ were ever given (again please use a word of your personal choice for ‘care’ here). He just did what he wanted. And it was bat crazy. Surrealism to me is perfect. Unlike the previous post where I talked about the contrived affect of the street art – surrealism has a sense of contradiction which makes you question it. It has a sense of conviction which doesn’t mean anything other than pure madness. But these are all based within a real craft and ability to make you love it, hate it but most definitely feel it. The Surrealists want you to have an experience. And the master of theatrical drama in every sense was Dali.
Even though my brother just wanted to cycle off into the distance returning only for tapas when hungry and to make sure I hadn’t been arrested or been placed into any lost property piles anywhere – he agreed to come with me to Dali’s birth town, final resting place and the museum he himself planned – Figueres.
‘I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object.
It will be totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with
the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.’